How to organize your wedding in Puglia
If you are reading this text, for sure you are planning your wedding in Italy and , in the following page, you will find a guide that will give you some advice about the different steps you have to do before moving to Puglia. The best thing is to come to Puglia 4 or 5 months before the wedding date, to see the location and, finally choose the one that catches your hearts! If you haven’t this possibility , don ‘t worry, because I will be your eyes here in Puglia and I will be happy to show you through skype or through a video “live” the different features of the venue.
It will be easier than you think … follow me…
The good news is that you can get married legally in Puglia even if you are a non-resident.
However there are different paperwork and steps to do, because it depends on the city you come from.
First of all consider that:
❖ There is no official residency requirement for civil ceremonies in Italy
❖ Catholic weddings are legally recognized in Italy
❖ For other religions, proof of a civil marriage is required before you can celebrate it in a church.
CIVIL CEREMONY IN PUGLIA
In Puglia, you can choose different places like villas, castles, town halls, public gardens etc. and your civil ceremonies can take place in one of these locations that have been approved by the Italian authorities. They are generally performed by the city mayor or a civil officer.
Find below two steps:
❖ When you have decided your wedding date, contact the Comune (Town Hall) of the Italian town where you want to celebrate your wedding to check the availability of your dates and to check the documents that are required.
❖ You will need to make two appointments at the Town Hall:the first is to make a declaration of the intent to marry before the Civil Registrar (Ufficiale dello Stato Civile) and the second is for the actual civil marriage ceremony.
❖ All the documents for US citizens need to be endorsed with an Apostille Stamp.
An Apostille Stamp authenticates documents executed outside of Italy (such as a birth certificate,) so that it will be recognized as genuine/ official / legitimate for use in other countries, such as Italy.
❖ All the original documents need to be accompanied by Italian translations. This must be done by an agency verified by the Italian Consulate.
❖ Do not apply for documents and certificates more than 6 months before the wedding as they will expire under Italian regulations.
US AND AUSTRALIAN CITIZENS
❖ If you come from Australia the Apostille Stamp is not required.
❖ Valid Passports.
❖ Official, Long Form, signed Birth Certificate’s.
❖ Divorce Decree (if appropriate).
❖ In Italy, a woman cannot remarry within 300 days from the date of her divorce unless she obtains special permission from the Procura della Repubblica presso il Tribunale (District Attorney’s office) at the Palazzo di Giustizia (Courthouse) in the city where the wedding will be performed. This permission will not be issued unless she can present medical evidence that shows she is not pregnant.
❖ Parents Consent if either party is under 18.
❖ Death Certificate (if appropriate).
❖ Atto Notorio | Sworn Affidavit (US and Australian Citizens Only).
❖ These documents (one each) need to be obtained before the wedding either by making an appointment with your nearest Italian consulate or waiting until you’re in Italy (not advised, harder process and more paperwork).
❖ The Atto Notrio is basically a declaration that states you are who you say you are. You and your fiancé / fianceé will need to present yourself at the Italian Consulate , along with two witnesses to make this declaration.
❖ Don’t forget that you must receive your Atto Notorio within the three month period before your wedding date.
❖ As well as your passports, birth certificate, divorce decrees and death certificates (accompanied by their translations and apostille stamps) you also need copies of your driver’s license, your fiancé / fiancée’s driver’s license and the driver’s licenses belonging to your two witnesses.
PROCESS TO FOLLOW AND DOCUMENTS TO BE OBTAINED IN ITALY
❖ Nulla Osta
The Nulla Osta is similar to the Atto Notorio ; it is a sworn statement saying you are who you say you are , that there is no legal impediment to your marriage under Italian Law and US / Australian Law.
It is carried out at the American / Australian Embassy in Italy so make sure you find out where the nearest consulate to your venue / airport is and book an appointment a month before you go.
For US citizens, appointments can be made online for the consulates in Milan , Florence, Rome and Naples. Australian citizens can make appointments at the Australian Embassy in Rome or The Australian Consulate General in Milan.
❖ Marco da Bollo Stamps
You need to purchase two Marco da Bollo Stamps (Revenue Stamps) from any tabacchi store for your visit to the Prefettura.
❖ Legalizing the Nulla Osta
Once you have received both of your Nulla Osta , you need to have the documents legalized with an Apostille seal by having them stamped at the Ufficio Legalizazione of the provincial Italian Government Agency, the Prefettura. You should check at the American Consulate the Prefettura closest to you. You won’t need an appointment.
❖ Visit to Town / City Hall (Comune)
When you have all of your documents together with their Apostilles and translations together, you must appear before the town hall along with an interpreter to present them and make your declaration of your intention to marry, usually two days before the wedding , but if one of you is an Italian citizen or resident in Italy, you will have to post your marriage banns and wait 2 Sundays before getting married in a civil ceremony. If both of you are non nationals and reside elsewhere, the banns are waived.
❖ I advice you to go with to town hall at the very beginning , in order to set a date and comunicate it to your guests.
❖ The Wedding
You must have 2 witnesses and an interpreter present. The Mayor, the Ufficiale dello Stato Civile or one of his/her assistants will perform civil ceremony.
❖ The Marriage Certificate
You will receive your marriage certificate from the officiant right after the civil ceremony, but just like you will have been doing all along.
❖ it’s a good idea to go back to the the Prefettura for it’s Apostille stamp. This will take a few days , so make sure you factor it into your trip and go off honeymooning without it!